World champion boxer Claressa Shields signs with PFL for MMA debut

Former Olympic gold medalist and undisputed boxing champion jumping to MMA.

After rumors surrounding her long-term future in boxing and potentially jumping to MMA, Claressa Shields will reportedly make the transition between sports, reportedly signing a deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

MMAJunkie was the first to report the story.

Shields will be taking one-off at fights at lightweight to start her PFL tenure, similar to when Kayla Harrison first transitioned to MMA from judo.

Shields has been linked to MMA over the past couple of years, with potential boxing matches against Cristiane Justino (aka Cris Cyborg) and Amanda Nunes in the rumor mill. Shields was present in Justino’s locker room for her UFC 232 loss to Nunes.

Shields even teased potentially getting into an MMA cage herself, hinting last year that she’d be interested in an MMA fight with Nunes.

Claressa Shields jumping from boxing to MMA by signing with PFL

Shields went 77-1 as an amateur boxer, becoming the first American woman to win a boxing gold medal in 2012, the first year of Olympic women’s boxing. She followed that up with more history in 2016, becoming the first American boxer ever to win gold medals in consecutive Olympic Games.

Since her November 2016 professional boxing debut, Shields has racked up championship title after championship title. She won the WBC and IBF belts at super middleweight before going on to become an undisputed middleweight champion. Shields is one of just eight boxers in history to hold all four major boxing titles in a weight class simultaneously.

Shields won titles in a third weight class in her most recent fight, defeating Ivana Habazin by unanimous decision in January to win the WBC and WBO light middleweight titles.

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